2008 - 2009


ENGL BC 1201x and y: First-Year English: Reinventing Literary History
Close examination of texts and regular writing assignments in composition, designed to help students read critically and write effectively. Sections of the course are grouped in three clusters: I. Legacy of the Mediterranean; II. The Americas; III. Women and Culture. The first cluster features a curriculum of classic texts representing key intellectual moments that have shaped Western culture, as well as excursions to the opera, the theatre, and museums.  Offering revisionist responses to the constraints of canonicity, the last two clusters feature curricula that explore the literary history of the Americas and the role of women in culture.
Required for all first-year students. May not be taken for P/D/F. 3 points

Fall class times:

  • Section 1          MW 9:10-10:25am
  • Section 2          MW 10:35-11:50am
  • Section 3          MW 11-12:15pm
  • Section 4          MW 1:10-2:25pm
  • Section 5          MW 1:10-2:25pm
  • Section 6          MW 2:40-3:55pm
  • Section 7          MW 2:40-3:55pm
  • Section 8          MW 4:10-5:25pm
  • Section 9          MW 4:10-5:25pm
  • Section 10        MW 4:10-5:25pm
  • Section 11       TuTh 9:10-10:25am
  • Section 12        TuTh 9:10-10:25am
  • Section 13        TuTh 11-12:15pm
  • Section 14        TuTh 1:10-2:25pm
  • Section 15        TuTh 1:10-2:25pm
  • Section 16        TuTh 2:40-3:55pm
  • Section 17        TuTh 2:40-3:55pm
  • Section 18        TuTh 4:10-5:25pm
  • Section 19       TuTh 4:10-5:25pm

Spring class times:

  • Sec 01      TuTh 9:10a - 10:25a
  • Sec 02      MW 9:10a - 10:25a
  • Sec 03      MW 11:00a -12:15p
  • Sec 04      MW 1:10p - 2:25p
  • Sec 05      MW 1:10p - 2:25p
  • Sec 06      MW 2:40p - 3:55p
  • Sec 07      MW 2:40p - 3:55p
  • Sec 08      MW 4:10p - 5:25p
  • Sec 09      MW 4:10p - 5:25p
  • Sec 10      TuTh 9:10a -10:25a
  • Sec 11      TuTh 10:35a - 11:50a
  • Sec 12      TuTh 1:10p - 2:25p
  • Sec 13      TuTh 1:10p - 2:25p
  • Sec 14      TuTh 1:10p - 2:25p
  • Sec 15      TuTh 2:40p - 3:55p
  • Sec 16      TuTh 2:40p - 3:55p
  • Sec 17      TuTh 4:10p - 5:25p
  • Sec 18      TuTh 4:10p - 5:25p
  • Sec 19      TuTh 11:00a - 12:15p

ENGL BC 1202x: Studies in Writing
Intensive practice in writing, emphasizing drafts, revision, peer response, and individual conferences. Consideration of the conventions of English style, usage, and grammar by means of both informal and formal writing, culminating in expository essays. Recommended for, but not limited to, first-year students and students whose first language is not English. 3 points

  • Section 1 MW 10:35-11:50am M. Kolisnyk
  • Section 2 TuTh 1:10-2:25pm W. Schor-Haim
  • Section 3 MW 1:10-2:25pm S. Fredman


Registration in each course is limited and permission of the instructor required.  Click here for the additional requirements for Creative Writing courses.  Click here for journalism.  A student is not permitted to take two writing courses concurrently.

ENGL BC 3101x: The Writer's Process: A Seminar in the Teaching of Writing
Exploration of theory and practice in the teaching of writing, designed for students who plan to become Writing Fellows at Barnard. Students will read current theory and consider current research in the writing process and engage in practical applications in the classroom or in tutoring. Application process and permission of instructor.  Does not count for major credit. -- P. Cobrin. 3 points. TuTh 11-12:15pm

ENGL BC 3103x: Essay Writing
English composition above the first-year level.  Techniques of argument and effective expression. Weekly papers.  Individual conferences. Some sections have a special focus, as described.   Can count towards major.  3 points

Fall class times:

  • Section 1 Th 12:10-2pm A. Schneider
  • Section 2 Th 9-10:50am W. Schor-Haim
  • Section 3 M 2:10-4pm J. Runsdorf

Spring class times:

  • Section 1 Tu 2:10p - 4:00p M. Ellsberg
  • Section 2 M 2:10p - 4:00p S. Fredman
  • Section 3  W 11:00a - 12:50p W. Schor-Haim

Creative Writing

Registration in each course is limited and the permission of the instructor is required; for courses 3105­3118 and 3120, submit a writing sample in advance.   Departmental application forms are available in the department office, Room 417 Barnard, and at www.barnard.edu/English/cwregistration.  The signed forms and writing samples must be filed with the Director of Creative Writing, Professor Timea Szell (423 Barnard) before the end of the program planning period.

Since screenwriting is considered part of the Film Concentration, you may apply to screenwriting in addition to either a poetry or prose course.  However, you are strongly advised to take only one writing class in any given semester.   Two non-film creative writing courses may not be taken concurrently.

ENGL BC 3105x: Fiction and Personal Narrative
Short stories and other imaginative and personal writing.—J. Leigh. 3 points. Tu 2:10-4 pm.

ENGL BC 3106y Fiction and Personal Narrative
Short stories and other imaginative and personal writing.— T. Szell. 3 points. W 4:1-6pm

ENGL BC 3107x: Introduction to Fiction Writing
Practice in writing short stories and autobiographical narrative with discussion and close analysis in a workshop setting.—C. Schine. 3 points. W 4:10-6:00pm.

ENGL BC 3108y Introduction to Fiction Writing
Practice in writing short stories and autobiographical narrative with discussion and close analysis in a workshop setting. — E. Minot. 3 points. M 6:10p – 8pm.

ENGL BC 3110x and y: Introduction to Poetry Writing
Varied assignments designed to confront the difficulties and explore the resources of language through imitation, allusion, free association, revision, and other techniques.3 points.  
Fall: —S. Singer. Th 6:10-8pm; Spring: —S. Hamilton. W 2:10p–4pm.

ENGL BC 3113x: Introduction to Playwriting
A workshop to provoke and investigate dramatic writing.—E. McLaughlin. 3 points. M 4:10–6pm

ENGL BC 3114y Advanced Playwriting
Advanced workshop to facilitate the crafting of a dramatic play with a bent towards the full length form.—J. Jordan. 3 points. W 11:00a - 12:50p.

ENGL BC 3115x: Story Writing
Advanced workshop in writing, with emphasis on the short story.
Prerequisites: Some experience in the writing of fiction.  Conference hours to be arranged.—M. Gordon. 3 points. Tu 6:10-8pm

ENGL BC 3116y: Story Writing II
Advanced workshop in writing, with emphasis on the short story.
Prerequisites: Some experience in writing of fiction.   Conference hours to be arranged.
–A. Hamburger. 3 points. Tu 2:10–4pm.

ENGL BC 3117x: Fiction Writing
Assignments designed to examine form and structure in fiction.—S. Nunez. 3 points. W 4:10-6pm.  Prerequisites: Students will have already written a substantial body of work.

ENGL BC 3118y: Advanced Poetry Writing
Weekly workshops designed to critique new poetry.  Each participant works toward the development of a cohesive collection of poems. Short essays on traditional and contemporary poetry will also be required.–S. Hamilton 3 points.  W 4:10p - 6:00p.

Please note: Screenwriting (BC 3119) is now listed a Film Studies courses.  See below among the cross-listed courses under the Film Studies Program.

ENGL BC 3120xy: Creative Non-Fiction: Journalism
Explores the forms used by contemporary journalists, including memoir, profile, review, travel essay, arts criticism, etc. 3 points.
Fall: —R. Panek. Tu 9–10:55am; Spring: D. Steinke M 2:10-4.


Registration in each course is limited.  Students need to sign up outside the English Department office, room 417 Barnard Hall.

ENGL BC 3121x: Public Speaking
An introduction to effective oral presentation, including interviewing and public speaking. Emphasis on self-presentation, research, organization, and audience analysis.
—P. Denison. 3 points.  TuTh 10:35 - 11:50.   Enrollment limited to 14 students.

ENGL BC 3123 Rhetorical Choices: the Theory and Practice of Public Speaking
construction, and physical affect that, whether made consciously or by default, project information about the identity of the speaker. In this course students will relate theory to practice: to learn principles of public speaking and speech criticism for the purpose of applying these principles as peer tutors in the Speaking Fellow Program.—J. Zuraw & P. Cobrin. 3 points.  MW 2:40 - 3:55pm.


Registration in each course is limited.  Students may sign up for theatre courses outside the Theatre office, Room 507 Milbank Hall.  See Theatre Department course descriptions for Theatre History (THTR 3150, 3151), Drama and Film (THTR BC 3143), Drama, Theatre, and Theory (THTR 3166), Modernism and Theatre (THTR 3737), and The History Play (THTR BC 3750).

[For information about studio courses in theatre, go to the Theatre office, 5th floor Milbank.]

ENTH BC 3136y Shakespeare in Performance
The dramatic text as theatrical event. Differing performance spaces, production practices, and cultural conventions promote different modes of engagement with ramatic texts. Explores Shakespeare's plays in the context of actual and possible performances from the Renaissance to the 20th Century.–P. Denison. 4 points. W 2:10-4pm
Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 16 students.

ENTH BC 3137y Restoration and 18th-Century Drama
Restoration drama represents a reawakening and revitalization of English theater, after eighteen years of Puritan-mandated silence. After the Restoration of King Charles, the new theater exploded with a reawakened sensuality, a love of the pleasure to be found in the material world. Comedy--witty, sensual, cynical, ruthless in the pursuit of happiness--was the dominant achievement of the periodWe will read The Country Wife, The Man of Mode, and The Way of the World, The Beggars Opera, The Relapse, The Beaux Stratagem, and The School for Scandal, The Rivals, and She Stoops to Conquer.–T. Kaufman.   3 points.  TuTh 1:10p - 2:25pm.

Language and Literature

ENGL BC 3140x&y: Seminars on Special Themes:


Section 1: Explorations of Black Literature: Early African-American Lit. 1760-1890
Poetry, prose, fiction, and nonfiction, with special attention to the slave narrative.  Includes Wheatley, Douglass, and Jacobs, but emphasis will be on less familiar writers such as Brown, Harper, Walker, Wilson, and Forten.  Works by some 18th-century precursors will also be considered.—Q. Prettyman 3 points. T Th 2:40-3:55pm

Section 2: Beastly Burdens: Animal Minds and Bodies in Literature & Culture
An examination of literary and historical representations and "uses" humans make of other animals ranging from those of companions to fragmented objects of metaphorical or literal consumption. Analysis of the apparent malleability of the animal body and consciousness in literature and in light of theoretical texts. Readings will include: Aesop, John Coetzee, Jacques Derrida, Sigmund Freud, Grimm fairy tales, Franz Kafka, Yann Martel, Flannery O'Connor, George Orwell, Ovid, and Peter Singer. –T. Szell.   3 points.  T Th 1:10-2:25 pm.


Section 2: Enchanted Imagination
Romantic and post-Romantic fantasy that examines the transformative role of imagination in aesthetic and creative experience. Challenges accepted boundaries between the imagined and the real, and celebrates otherness and magicality in a disenchanted world.  Authors include Blake, Coleridge, Keats, Mary Shelley, Tennyson, Carroll, Tolkien, LeGuin, Garcia Marquez. –J. Pagano.   3 points. MW 10:35-11:50am

Section 3: BiblicalHeroes
Considers certain important figures in the bible as literary characters and mythical heroes.  Included among the figures we will study will be Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Miriam, Rahab, Deborah, Yael, Ruth, Samuel, Saul, David, Job, Jonah, Mary, Jesus, Peter, and Paul.
Prerequisites: Not open to those who have taken ENRE BC3810 (Literary Approaches to the Bible).  Enrollment limited to 14 students. –M. Ellsberg.   3 points. 1:10-2:25pm.

Section 6: Reading Barnard Writing
A century of American literature seen through the lens of works by women who were all Barnard undergraduates. Topics include Jewish immigration, the Harlem Renaissance, Greenwich Village bohemianism, feminism, black pride, sexual liberation, the rise of ethnic American identity, the "downtown" scene of the 1980s, etc. Authors may include Antin, Millay, Hurston, Calisher, Chang, Jong, Shange, Gordon, Quindlen, Janowitz, Danticat, Lahiri, and others.–W. Sharpe.  3 points. 2:40-3:55pm.

ENGL BC 3141x: Major English Texts I
A chronological view of the variety of English literature through study of selected writers and their works.  Autumn: Beowulf through Johnson. Guest lectures by members of the department.—M. Ellsberg. 3 points. MW 11-12:15pm

ENGL BC3142y Major English Texts II
A chronological view of the variety of English literature through study of selected writers and their works. Spring: Romantic poets through the present. Guest lectures by members of the department.–M. Ellsberg. 3 points. 11-12:15pm.

ENGL BC 3143x: Middle Fictions: Long Stories, Short Novels, Novellas
Discussion of fictions between 60-150 pages in length.  Authors include James, Joyce, Mann, Nabokov, Cather, Welty, West, Porter, Olsen, Trevor. –M. Gordon. 3 points. MW 10:35-11:50 am.

ENTH BC 3144x: Black Theatre
Exploration in Black Theatre, specifically African-American performance traditions, as an intervening agent in racial, cultural and national identity. African-American theater artists to be examined include Amiri Baraka, Kia Corthron, W.E.B. Du Bois, Angelina Grimke, Langston Huges, Georgia Douglas Jognson, Adrienne Kennedy, Suzan-Lori Parks, Adrian Piper and August Wilson. –S. Garrett. 3 points. Tu 12:10-2 pm.

ENTH BC 3145y Early American Drama and Performance: Staging a Nation
Competing constructions of American identity in the United States date back to the early republic when a newly emerging nation struggled with the questions: What makes an American American?  What makes America America? From colonial times forward, the stage has served as a forum to air differing beliefs as well as medium to construct new beliefs about Nation, self and other. The texts we will read, from colonial times through WWI, explore diverse topics such as politics, Native American rights, slavery, labor unrest, gender roles, and a growing immigrant population.–P. Cobrin.  4 points. Th 11-12:50pm.

AFEN BC 3148y Literature of the Great Migration: 1916-1970
Explores, through fiction, poetry, essays, and film, the historical context and cultural content of the African American migration from the rural south to the urban cities of the north, with particular emphasis on New York, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia.–Q. Prettyman.  3 points 2:40-3:55pm

ENGL BC 3149y Cultures of Colonialism: Palestine/Israel
The significance of colonial encounter, statehood, and dispossession in Palestinian and Israeli cultures from 1948 to the present, examined in a range of cultural forms: poetry, political tracts, cinema, fiction, memoirs, and travel writing. Authors include: Darwish, Grossman, Habibi, Khalifeh, Khleifi, Kanafani, Oz, Shabtai, Shalev, and Yehoshua.–B. Abu-Manneh. 3 points.  10:35-11:50am.

ENGL BC 3156x: Topics in Chaucer: Troilus and Dream Visions
A survey of Chaucer's dream vision poems, the great romance Troilus and Criseyde, and related medieval texts. We will also examine the rich visual and musical traditions associated with these works. –C. Baswell. 3 points. MW 10:35-11:50am.

ENGL BC 3159x-BC3160y: The English Colloquium:
Required of majors in the junior year. Students may substitute 3 courses--from ENGL BC3154-BC3158, BC3163-BC3164, BC3165-BC3169, or ENTH BC3136-BC3137.  Students may also take 1 colloquium and 2 substitutions.  At least one of these courses must cover Medieval or Renaissance material; at least one material of the 17th or 18th Century.  One of these will also count toward satisfying the "before 1900" requirement.  4 points


Section 1: Imitation & Creation
New ideas of the mind's relation to the world. New perspectives, the emergence of new forms, experimentation with old forms, and the search for an appropriate style.—R. Hamilton. T 4:10-6pm

Section 2: Skepticism and Affirmation
The development of modern concepts of subjectivity and authority. The rise of art and the artist. Myth versus science. Knowledge versus experience. Humanism, Rationalism, Empiricism. The tension between belief and doubt. The exploration of limits and the limitless. Definition of the beautiful and the sublime.—P. Platt. W 2:10-4pm

Section 3: Reason and Imagination
Humanism, reformation, and revolution: the possibilities of human knowledge; sources and strategies for secular and spiritual authority; the competing demands of idealism and experience.
—C. Plotkin. W 4:10-6pm

Section 4: Order and Disorder
The tension, conflicts, and upheavals of an era in the arts, religion, politics, aesthetics, and society.—A. Prescott. M 11-12:50pm


Section 1: Imitation & Creation
New ideas of the mind's relation to the world. New perspectives, the emergence of new forms, experimentation with old forms, and the search for an appropriate style. –T. Szell.  Tu 2:10-4pm

Section 2: Skepticism and Affirmation
The development of modern concepts of subjectivity and authority. The rise of art and the artist. Myth versus science. Knowledge versus experience. Humanism, Rationalism, Empiricism. The tension between belief and doubt. The exploration of limits and the limitless. Definition of the beautiful and the sublime.–M. Jaanus.  4:10-6pm

Section 3: Reason and Imagination
Humanism, reformation, and revolution: the possibilities of human knowledge; sources and strategies for secular and spiritual authority; the competing demands of idealism and experience.–C. Plotkin.  4:10-6pm

Section 4: Order and Disorder
The tension, conflicts, and upheavals of an era in the arts, religion, politics, aesthetics, and society.
–J. Basker. 2:10-4pm

ENGL BC 3163x: Shakespeare
A critical and historical introduction to Shakespeare's comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances.—P. Platt. 3 points. MW 9:10-10:25pm.

ENGL BC 3164y Shakespeare II
Critical and historical introduction to Shakespeare's comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances.–P. Platt 
 3 points. 9:10-10:25am.

ENGL BC 3165x: The Elizabethan Renaissance
Literature and culture during the reign of Elizabeth I.  Topics include God, sex, love, topic. Authors include P. Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Mary Sidney Herbert. —A. Prescott. 3 points. M W 2:40-3:55pm

ENGL BC 3166y Seventeenth-century Prose and Poetry
Lyric poetry about love, sex, death, and God in Donne and others (e.g., Herbert, Lanyer, Wroth, Herrick, Marvell, Phillips).  Prose about science, politics, religion, and philosophy (e.g., Bacon and Cavendish, Hobbes and early communists "The Levellers") in what has been called the "century of revolution."–W. Kenton. 3 points. Th 1:10-2:25pm.

ENGL BC 3174: The Age of Johnson
The works of Johnson, Boswell, and their contemporaries in historic context; rise of the novel (Richardson, Fielding, and Sterne); poets from Pope to Blake and Wordsworth; women writers from Carter to Collier to Wollstonecraft; working class writers; topics include slavery and abolition in literature, the democratization of culture, and the transition to romanticism.–J. Basker 3points. MW 9:10-10:25 am.

ENGL BC 3176y: The Romantic Era
Romantic writers in their intellectual, historical, and political context, with reference to contemporary movements in philosophy, music, and the plastic arts. Authors include Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, P.B. Shelley, and Keats. An emphasis on close reading of the poetry.–C. Plotkin.  3 points.  TuTh 1:10-2:25pm.

ENGL BC 3178x: Victorian Poetry and Criticism
Poetry, art, and aesthetics in an industrial society, with emphasis on the role of women as artists and objects. Poems by Tennyson, Arnold, Christina and D.G. Rossetti, Swinburne, and Elizabeth and Robert Browning; criticism by Ruskin, Arnold, and Wilde; paintings by the Pre-Raphaelites and Whistler; photographs by J.M. Cameron.—W Sharpe.   3 points. T Th 4:10-5:25pm.

ENGL BC 3180y: American Literature, 1800-1870
Texts from the late Republican period through the Civil War explore the literary implications of American independence, the representation of Native Americans, the nature of the self, slavery and abolition, gender and woman's sphere, and the Civil War. Writers include Irving, Emerson, Poe, Fuller, Thoreau, Douglass, Stowe, Jacobs, Whitman, Dickinson.–M. Vandenburg.  3 points. TuTh 2:40-3:55pm.

ENGL BC 3181x: American Literature, 1871-1945
American literature in the context of cultural and historical change. Writers include Twain, James, DuBois, Wharton, Cather, Wister, Faulkner, and Hurston. —J. Kassanoff. 3 points. TuTh 10:35-11:50am

ENGL BC 3183y: American Literature since 1945
American fiction, literary and cultural criticism since 1945. Topics include: the uthorial and critical search for the great contemporary American novel, the particularity of "American" characters, genres, aesthetics, subjects, the effect of these debates oncanon formation and the literary marketplace. Authors may include: Bellow, Ellison, Nabokov, Capote, Kerouac, Didion, Pynchon, Morrison, Roth, Allison and Franzen.–M. Miller.   3 points. TuTh 10:35-11:50am.

ENGL BC 3185y: Modern British and American Poetry
The poetry of three decades, 1915-25, 1955-65, and 1991-2001. Poems by Hardy, Yeats, Eliot Pound, HD, Williams, Auden, Millay, Larkin, Plath, Walcott, Hughes, Ponsot, Ignatow, and Yusef Komunyakaa.–W. Sharpe.  3 points. TuTh 4:10-5:25pm.

ENTH BC 3186x or y Modern Drama
Course traces the literary, theoretical, and historical development of drama from the 1850s onward, treating the plays of (among others) Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Brecht, Beckett, Soyinka, Churchill, and critical/theoretical texts by Nietzsche, Freud, Brecht, Artaud, Butler, and others.–W. Worthen.  3 points. MW 10:35-11:50am.

ENGL BC 3188y The Modern Novel
Examines formal changes in the novel from nineteenth-century realism to stream of consciousness, montage, and other modernist innovations. Contexts include World War I, technology, urbanization, nostalgia, sexuality and the family, mass culture, psychoanalysis, empire and colonialism. €Representative works from authors such as James, Forster, West, Ford, Conrad, Lawrence, Woolf, Joyce, Kafka.–M. Cregan. 3 points. TuTh 10:35-11:50am. Enrollment limited to 50 students.

ENGL BC 3190y Global Literature in English
Selective survey of fiction from the ex-colonies, focusing on the colonial encounter, cultural and political decolonization, and belonging and migration in the age of postcolonial imperialism. Areas covered include Africa (Achebe, Aidoo, Armah, Ngugi); the Arab World (Mahfouz, Munif, Salih, Souief); South Asia (Mistry, Rushdie, Suleri); the Carribean (Kincaid); and New Zealand (Hulme).–B. Abu-Manneh.  3 points.  TuTh 2:40-3:55pm.

ENGL BC 3191x and y The English Conference: The Lucyle Hook Guest Lectureship
Various topics presented by visiting scholars in courses that will meet for two to four weeks during each semester. Topics, instructors, and times will be announced by the department. Students must attend all classes to receive credit for this course. For more information, please consult: http://english.barnard.edu/course-information/english_conference.  1 point.
Prerequisites: To be taken only for P/D/F.  Departmental registration required.

ENGL BC 3193x and y: Literary Criticism and Theory
Provides experience in the reading and analysis of literary texts and some knowledge of conspicuous works of literary criticism.  Frequent short papers. Required of all majors before the end of the junior year. Sophomores are encouraged to take it in the spring term even before officially declaring their major.  Transfer students should plan to take BC3193 in the autumn term.   Registration in each section is limited. Departmental registration required.  4 points


  • Section 1 Th 4:10p - 6:00p C. Brown
  • Section 2 Tu 12:10p - 2:00p M. Cregan
  • Section 3 T 4:10p - 6:00p M. Spiegel
  • Section 4  T 2:10p - 4:00p R. Hamilton
  • Section 5 W 11:00a - 12:50p S. Pedatella


  • Section 1 Tu 4:10p - 6:00p M. Vandenburg
  • Section 2 Th 4:10p - 6:00p C. Plotkin
  • Section 3  Tu12:10p - 3:00p J. Runsdorf
  • Section 4  W 2:10p - 4:00p  W. Sharpe
  • Section 5  Th 2:10p - 4:00p S. Sobelle

ENGL BC 3194x: (Section 2) Critical & Theoretical Perspectives on Literature: Literary Theory
This course will examine nineteenth century foundational texts (Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche), landmarks of the twentieth century (Gramsci, Foucault, Deleuze, Butler, Jameson, Spillers, Said, Spivak, Anzaldua, Debray, Kelly, and Rafael), the novels of Jose Rizal, and selected critical essays.—J. Beller. 3 points. M 4:10-6pm

ENGL BC 3195x: Modernism
Modernist responses to an exhausted civilization, "an old bitch gone in the teeth" (Pound). The invention of new forms; the breaking of old taboos. Liberation, fragmentation, the struggle to express centrifugal experience. Works by Joyce, Yeats, Eliot, Pound, Stein, Lawrence, Stevens, Williams, Dos Passos, Freud, Frazer, Rosenberg, Read, Ortega y Gasset. —C. Plotkin. 3 points. TuTh 4:10-5:25pm.

ENGL BC 3196x: Home to Harlem: Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
Explores the cultural contexts and aesthetic debates surrounding the topics considered include: modernism, primitivism, patronage, passing and the problematics of creating a " racial" art in/for a community comprised of differences in gender, class, sexuality, and geographical origin. —M. Miller. 3 points.

ENGL BC 3199x: Poetics.
An investigation of poetry and imagination in practice and theory in the work of lyric poets from the fourteenth century to the present. Selected prose and poetry by Petrarch, Herbert, Cowper, Blake, Keats, Clare, Dickinson, Baudelaire, the Modernists, Celan, and others.—S. Hamilton. 3 points. M W 1:10- 2:25pm.

ENGL BC 3252x: Contemporary Media Theory
Explores the transformation of social organization and consciousness by and as media technologies during the long 20th century. Students will read influential works of media analysis written during the past century, analyze film and digital media, and explore political and media theory generated since the rise of the internet.–J. Beller. 3 points. M 11-12:50 pm. Limit 15; instructor will determine at 1st class.

ENRE BC 3810x: Literary Approaches to the Bible
Interpretive strategies for reading the Bible as a work with literary dimensions. Considerations of poetic and rhetorical structures, narrative techniques, and feminist exegesis will be included. Topics for investigation include the influence of the Bible on literature, combined with the more formal disciplines of biblical studies.—M. Ellsberg. Tu 2:10-4pm.

ENGL BC 3996x and y: Special Project in Theatre, Writing, or Critical Interpretation
Senior majors who are concentrating in Theatre or Writing and have completed two courses in writing or three in theatre will normally take the Special Project in Theatre or Writing in combination with an additional course in their special field. This counts in place of one of the Senior Seminars.  In certain cases, Independent Study (BC3999) may be substituted for the Special Project.  Permission of instructor and chair required.  In rare cases, with the permission of chair, a special project in conjunction with a course may be taken by other English majors.  1 point.

ENGL BC 3997x & 3998y: Senior Seminars Studies in Literature
Required of all majors, these seminars are designed to deepen knowledge of periods, writers, works, genres, and theories through readings, discussion, oral reports, and at least one significant research paper.  Prerequisites: Sign up through special tab in eBear.  Enrollment limited to seniors.  4 points.

FALL (3997):

Section 1: The City in Literature: 19th Century
London in the Nineteenth Century. How does urban experience provoke formal innovations, deformations, and fascination with the sensational, the grotesque, the mysterious? Special emphasis on the nighttime as a site of exploration and transgression. Works by Dickens, Engels, Mayhew, Doré, Whistler, Ruskin, Stevenson, Wilde, Doyle, and others.—W. Sharpe. W 2:10-4pm

Section 2: Late Victorian and Modern Drama
Drama in transition. Changing social structures and dramatic structures at the turn of the century.  The relationship between convention and invention and the interface of text and performance in the plays of Pinero, Wilde, Shaw, Strindberg, Ibsen, Chekhov, Robins, and others.—P. Denison. T 2:10-4pm

Section 3: Poets and their Correspondence
How do poets' letters inform our understanding of their poetry? From the eighteenth to the twentieth century, poets have used their intimate correspondence to "baffle absence," as Coleridge remarked. This course will examine the ways several masters of the letter (including Cowper, Keats, Dickinson, Eliot, Bishop, and Lowell, among others) shaped their prose to convey spontaneity in paradoxically artful ways, illuminating their major work as poets and making the private letter a literary form in its own right. — S. Hamilton. M 4:10–6pm

Section 4: Toni Morrison
Examines Toni Morrison's oeuvre and aesthetic in the context of the last 30 years of African American literary criticism and cultural studies. Literary critical movements to be discussed include: black feminist criticism, literary black nationalism, gender studies and queer theory, post-colonialism and the writing of the black diaspora, "racial" writing and the literature of witness, trauma, memory and forgetting. —M. Miller. M 2:10-4pm

Section 5: Monsters, Machines, Cyborgs: toward a History of Technology
Artistic and literary responses to technological change that transformed the idea of what it means to be human, from Shakespeare's The Tempest to Shelley's Frankenstein, from La Mettrie's Man-Machine to Ridley Scott's Alien. —R. Hamilton.  T 11:00-12:50pm

SPRING (3998):

Section 1: The Concept of Happiness
Interdisciplinary examination of the idea of happiness from Aristotle to the present.  Short readings in a variety of literary and other texts.–M. Jaanus. W 2:10-4pm.

Section 2: Film: The Man in the Crowd/The Woman of the Streets
Explores theories of the crowd, mass behavior and the individual in American fiction and film, from idealizations of democracy to lynch mobs. Works by Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, Crane, Lewis, West, Baldwin, Le Bon, Benjamin, Canetti, films by Vidor, Chaplin, Capra, Lang, Kazan and others.–M. Spiegel.  Th 4:10-6pm.

Section 3: Sense and Disability
This course will consider American narratives of disability at the turn of the twentieth century. Focusing on works by Stephen Crane, Helen Keller, Booker T. Washington, Edith Wharton, Pearl Buck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner and Carson McCullers, the seminar will examine the relationship between disability and language, technology, race, gender, popular culture and law.–J. Kassanoff. &11-12:50pm.

Section 4: Modernist Visions: Conrad, Eliot, Woolf
Themes of the heart of darkness, the waste land, and voyages, in the first decades of the 20th century. London; overseas; gender divisions; fragmentation and reconstruction.–C. Brown.  W 4:10-6pm.

Section 5: Romance
Romance is the most persistent and widespread kind of writing in the west, from high culture to low, yet it fits awkwardly into the critical modes we encounter in the university. This seminar explores the form from antiquity to recent film. One brief paper (two to three pages) per week.–C. Baswell.  Tu 4:10-6pm.

Section 6: Wit &Humor in the Renaissance
What was funny in the Renaissance? We will look at various ways writers sought to be dryly witty, harshly satirical, subtly ironic, amusingly parodic, or broadly comic.  Texts will include background materials by Lucian and other classical satirists and Renaissance works by Erasmus, Rabelais, Marguerite de Navarre, Louise Labé, John Donne, Ben Jonson, Shakespeare, Tom Nashe, Sir John Harington, and Joseph Hall as well as extracts from jestbooks and several parodic almanacs.–A. Prescott.  M 2:10-4pm.

ENGL BC 3999x and y: Independent Study
Senior majors who wish to substitute Independent Study for one of the two required senior seminars should consult the chair. Permission is given rarely and only to students who present a clear and well-defined topic of study, who have a department sponsor, and who submit their proposals well in advance of the semester in which they will register. There is no independent study for screenwriting or film production. Permission of instructor and Department Chair.  4 points.

Cross-Listed Courses

English & Comparative Literature:
CLEN W4122y: Renaissance in Europe II: Figuring Eros
How did Renaissance writers imagine Eros? What obstacles does he meet? How does he relate to other kinds of love? To loss and to wit? Readings include Plato, Ovid, and Petrarch for background, then Stampa, Ariosto, Rabelais, Labé, Marguerite de Navarre, Ronsard, Rabelais, Wyatt, Marlowe, Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, and Donne.  Lecture.– A. Prescott. Th 4:10-5:25pm.

ENGL W4560x: Backgrounds to Contemporary Theory
What are the intellectual antecedents of contemporary critical, cultural, and social theory? Where do the vocabularies and questions that occupy us most urgently today, or that we occupy--history, the subject, the other, the aesthetic, culture, society, discourse, and so on – come from, and how does this history illuminate their current challenges and relations?  How do we interpret the tension between theory and the current aggressive return of "history"?  This course will look back at certain thinkers of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries (Rousseau, Kleist, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Bergson, Bakhtin, Freud, Weber) who offer indispensable continuities with and counterpoints to the methodologies of academic lite poststructuralist theory would be helpful, only minimal acquaintance will be presumed; selected 20th-century readings that illustrate lines of connection will be provided. –R. Hamilton.  3 points. M W 4:10-5:25 pm.

ENGL W 4917y Literature and Society: Writing on Disability
Writings about disability and eccentric bodies, from Oedipus of the swollen foot to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Texts will cover a range of periods, including medieval narratives of miraculous cure, the hunchback king in Shakespeare's Richard III, and a powerfully immobile and sexually magnetic woman in Trollope's on motor disability and bodily variety, students will be encouraged (and required) to seek out texts that address other issues such as blindness, deafness, or mental disability. Critical readings will be drawn from the emerging field of Disability Studies.  Issues to be addressed will include the great historical shift from notions of the "ideal" or heroic, to the "normal" body; the social construction of disability; the cripple as icon or agent; disabled identity and the return of the memoire. Two short papers and a take-home final. [Note: this course had originally been scheduled for the fall but has been moved to the spring semester.] –C. Baswell.  3 points. MW 2:40-3:55pm.

CLEN G4995y  Reading Lacan
Lecture/discussion. This semester we will study selections from the late Lacan: Seminar XX Encore (On feminine sexuality) and beyond to Seminars XXI  Thenon-dupes err/The names of the father (Les non-dupes errent/Le nom-du-père), XX R.S.I. and  XXIIISinthome together with essays by Jacques-Alain Miller and Badiou and modern and postmodern novels and short stories.  Emphasis on the relevance of Lacan’s thought to literature and culture, and to questions of neuroscience, capitalism, democracy, and happiness.  Undergraduates are welcome to enroll in the course; if they cannot do so automatically, they should see Michael Mallick in the Columbia English Department for an approval slip to take to the Registrar.–M. Jaanus.  T 2:10p - 4pm.


Sign-ups for all film courses this year are being managed by Prof. Ross Hamilton.

FILM BC 3119x and y: Screenwriting
Preference given to juniors and seniors students majoring or concentrating in film who attend the first class session. Since this is a Film Concentration course, it does not count as a writing course for English majors with a Writing Concentration. 3 points.

FALL: A practical workshop in dramatic writing for the screen.  Through a series of creative writing exercises, script analysis, and scene work, students explore and develop the basic principles of screenwriting. The final product will be a 30-page  Act One segment for a feature screenplay.
—D. McKenna.W 1:10-4:00pm.

SPRING: Screenplays are the foundation of much of our popular culture, but can they be art? This intensive writing workshop examines the art and practice of the screenplay form, its root in classical narrative structure, the ways in which it differs from the other written arts, and how one can engage its particular tools to express original ideas. Weekly writing assignments and class critique form the heart of this workshop. Students should be prepared to share their work with others and participate fully in class discussion. Students will create two short screenplays and a detailed outline for a feature film script. All students encouraged, but Junior and Senior film majors will be given priority.—M. Regan.  F 10 am-1 pm.

FILM BC 3200x: Film Production
An exploration of basic narrative tools at the filmmaker's disposal, with a particular emphasis on camera work and editing. Examines basic cinematic syntax that provides a foundation for storytelling on the screen.—S. Luckow. 3 points. W 2:10-5:00pm.
Prerequisites: FILM BC 3201 and permission of instructor. Sophomore standing. Enrollment limited to 12 students.

FILM BC 3201x: Introduction to Film and Film Theory.
An introductory survey of the history, aesthetics and theories of film.  Topics in American and International cinema are explored through weekly screenings, readings, discussion, and lecture.  A complete introduction to cinema studies, this course is also the pre-requisite for further film courses at Columbia and Barnard.—M. Regan.  3 points. M 5:40-9:30pm.

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